ORICA-SCOTT leaders safely through a hot stage 4 at La VueltaTue 22 Aug 2017
ORICA-SCOTT has safely navigated its three leaders through a hot stage four at La Vuelta, despite a number of late crashes interrupting the bunch.
The trio of Esteban Chaves (6th), Adam Yates (8th) and Simon Yates (10th) now sit inside the top ten overall after a late touchdown unfortunately delayed AG2R La Mondiale's Domenico Pozzivivo.
Sport director Neil Stephens said a simple stage became complicated in its buildup to the bunch sprint won by Matteo Trentin (Quickstep Floors), but praised the team's performance under stress.
"It was a relatively simple day throughout the first part, gradually downhill with a bit of a headwind, then it got really tricky in the last 50km," Stephens explained. "There was a slight change of direction, roundabouts, traffic furniture and narrow roads and the pressure really built up."
"There was a lot of nerves and quite a lot of crashes as well but the guys worked hard and positioned the leaders well into the final. All our guys managed to stay upright and keep their positions in GC."
Finishing safely in the bunch and maintaining his position on the general classification also saw Adam Yates retain the best young rider competition for another day.
"It's still early days, but so far I'm feeling good," Yates said. "Obviously I lost a little bit of time yesterday but as a team we have Esteban up there and as long as one of us finish as close to the podium as possible, it's a successful race for us."
"We have more cards to play than other teams. There's three of us within reach and we can have numbers to play with in the final week."
How it happened:
After three crucial and dangerous stages, the fourth day of La Vuelta looked to be more straight forward with the majority of the parcours downhill and a sprint the most likely final scenario.
As the peloton left Andorra, five riders established the day’s breakaway and at a maximum rode out to over seven minute’s advantage.
Quickstep Floors and Aqua Blue took over the front of the peloton from Team Sky and began to eat into the deficit. With 100km to go, the gap was just over six minutes.
The break split on the day’s only climb with a duo of Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) and Diego Rubio (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) remaining at the front of the race at the crest of the climb with the peloton less than five minutes behind.
The pace picked up as the intensity of the chase lifted, making for a dangerous and stressful final 50km of racing.
The race was back together inside the final ten kilometers as a number of small crashes hindered the finale.
After a long, hot day, Trentin - who will join ORICA-SCOTT in 2018 - claimed the win ahead of Juan Jose Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Tim van Asbroeck (Cannondale-Drapac).
La Vuelta - Stage 4 Results:
1. Matteo Trentin (Quickstep Floors) 4:43:57
2. Juan Jose Lobato (LottoNL-Jumbo) ST
3. Tim van Asbroeck (Cannondale-Drapac) ST
24. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
La Vuelta - General Classification after stage 4:
1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 13:37:41
2. David De la Cruz (Quickstep Floors) +0:02
3. Nicholas Roche (BMC Racing Team) + 0:02
6. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) + 0:11
Photo courtesy of TDWsport.